Dashing Dog by Margaret Mahy. Illus. Donovan Bixley
I knew the story of Dashing Dog with Margaret Mahy’s clever text as dog is curlicued and dandified, and the owners gallant and grandified. But the original book was from 2002 illustrated by Sarah Garland so my attention was immediately on the illustrations.
It is part of my habit when evaluating a picture book to blot out the written text and see how the illustrations tell the story. I know Donovan Bixley would not like to think he has upstaged Mahy’s text but unwittingly he has and the result is an excellent picture book. The written and visual text work perfectly together to heighten the humour, the snobbery and the drama as Betty is saved by the once pampered pooch.
The illustartions greabbed me on page one with the owner of the Pampered Poodle slaon, brilliant moustache kisscurl and bedroom eyes. It is the detail of the array of birds , dogs and humans that witness the happenings that impressed me.
Easy to read, great pictures and lots of humour. A sure hit for everybody.